I haven’t been happy with my dentures for as long as I can remember, and my dentist just said I’m a candidate for the All-on-4 procedure. During the consult, he asked me if I was a smoker, and I sheepishly told him “no,” because I didn’t want to be disqualified from having it done. Truth be told, I’ve been smoking about a pack a day for decades. My teeth have been a huge source of stress for me, and I think that being able to eat and talk right again will make it easier for me to quit. Is it safe to go forward with All-on-4 now and quit smoking when I’m less stressed afterwards?
June in Indiana
All-on-4 is an excellent option to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, but it’s not the best solution for everyone. The success of the dental implants relies heavily on your jawbone accepting the implants, and healing well. When this happens, your bone will integrate with the implant, enabling it to perform just like the root of your tooth did. It will be strong, sturdy, and healthy.
When you smoke, it affects your entire body, including your oral health. It may take longer for the healing phase to complete, or your body might not accept the implant at all. People who smoke are also more prone to getting infections when a dental implant is placed, which can cause it to fail. One of the latest studies tracked 165 people for five years. Smokers who received dental implants had a failure rate of nearly 16%, but non-smokers came in closer to 1%.
There’s no way to tell in advance if your All-on-4 procedure will fail because you smoke. Flipping the statistics around, there’s an 84% chance yours will be successful, but undoubtedly you’d like to be closer to 99%, like the rest of the population. In order to do so, you’ll need to quit smoking before the procedure, and allow your body some time to heal. Some dentists won’t do the All-on-4 procedure for a patient who smokes because of the added risk, but it’s important to be upfront with your doctor about your habits. He may be able to provide you with resources to help you quit, and he’s also likely to monitor your progress more closely, since you’ll be in a high-risk group.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.